Widespread calls for those implicated in alleged arms deal corruption to face prosecution

SABC News Seriti - Widespread calls for those implicated in alleged arms deal corruption to face prosecution

The setting aside of the Seriti Commission findings on Wednesday has been met with widespread calls for those who had been implicated in the arms deal to face the music.

Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane says now that the findings of the Seriti Commission on the arms deal have been set aside, those who had been implicated should face prosecution.

Responding to the High Court in Pretoria’s judgment, Maimane says then President Jacob Zuma relied entirely on the findings of the Seriti Commission when the DA took him to court in the spy tapes case.

He says the judgment now paves the way for relevant law enforcement agencies to take the matter further.

“When we ‘took’ Jacob Zuma to court on the spy tapes, he relied heavily on the findings of the Seriti Commission on this particular matter. Therefore, the issue of the arms deal has been a sore point in the eyes of South Africans in many ways. It is one of the symbolic issues that demonstrated a grand scale of corruption.”

“And we think a thorough investigation must be brought on the table and as it pertains to Zuma and his own culpability on the matter. That he must be held accountable. Now, it sets the courts free to be able to pursue this matter further.”

Former African National Congress (ANC) member of parliament Andrew Feinstein has called on the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to  investigate and charge all those involved.

Feinstein was one of those who provided evidence at the Seriti Commission, which he says was totally ignored.

“For many years now, there has been an overwhelming amount of evidence of corruption in the deal and in this instance the Seriti Commission decided to completely ignore that sort of evidence, and I would now hope the NPA, which has access to all of the evidence, now needs to make decisions under its new leadership about who else should be put on trial to make clear, that the public are aware of exactly who was involved in the corruption and that we try and recoup whatever monies from these contracts that we possibly can.”

GOOD party leader Patricia de Lille has welcomed the High Court’s ruling.

De Lille, who blew the whistle in parliament over the alleged corruption on the multi-billion-rand arms deal 20 years ago, says if action was taken back then a lot of looting of state funds would have been prevented.

She says no one is above the law. “We should be grateful to the NPO’s for acting on the convictions and on behalf of all of us taking the findings to court. The judgment presents a new opportunity to demonstrate in South Africa, all citizens irrespective of power or connectivity, are governed by the same laws and constitution. And held to equal standards to account.”

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